Indianapolis Power unveils 20-MW battery storage project

Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL), a subsidiary of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES), on June 16 announced the commercial operation of the 20-MW IPL Advancion Energy Storage Array as part of a White House Summit on renewables and energy storage.

Ken Zagzebski, President of AES United States and President and CEO of IPL’s immediate parent IPALCO, made the announcement as part of a panel of national leaders in clean energy. AES was invited to join regulators, power companies, municipalities, and energy developers from at least eight states who are leading efforts to promote smart electricity markets and greater grid integration of renewable energy and flexible resources such as energy storage. The 17 companies participating in the summit have announced projects which will result in at least 1.3 GW of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years.

“Our people have been instrumental in keeping AES and its businesses at the forefront of innovative solutions to address current challenges in our industry in ways that are both economically and environmentally sustainable,” said Zagzebski. “Consistent with my remarks at the White House Summit, the integration of advanced technologies with existing infrastructure will benefit customers with safe and reliable service, while also strengthening the resiliency of the grid for years to come.”

The Advancion Array is the first grid-scale, battery-based energy storage system in the 15-state Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region. It is also the first grid-scale energy storage system in the United States that will be used to provide primary frequency response, an essential reliability service. The energy storage facility can instantaneously match supply and demand of electricity, and also increases the ability to balance out intermittent resources such as wind or solar energy. The storage system is located on the southwest side of Indianapolis at the IPL Harding Street Station.

IPL is utilizing AES’ Advancion 4, the next generation of grid-scale, battery-based energy storage. The fourth generation design incorporates lessons learned from more than 3 million megawatt-hours of delivered service across a global energy storage fleet. Recently, AES was recognized by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) with the 2016 International Edison Award for the development and deployment of this Advancion platform.

“IPL is transforming its generation fleet and taking an all-of-the-above approach to create innovative energy solutions,” said Rafael Sanchez, President and CEO of IPL. “The way IPL is diversifying its energy mix will significantly reduce dependence on coal while keeping costs competitive.”

In three years, IPL has deployed 96 MW of solar through 37 solar farms. Indianapolis was recognized by the Environment America Research & Policy Center report “Shining Cities 2016” as the city with the 2nd highest amount of Solar PV on a per capita basis (after Honolulu) and #5 out of the top 20 cities for installed Solar PV.

Indianapolis Power & Light provides retail electric service to more than 480,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Indianapolis, as well as portions of other Central Indiana communities surrounding Marion County. 

AES Corporation is a Fortune 200 global power company. It provides affordable, sustainable energy to 17 countries through a diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.